Featuring President & CEO Land Tawney, North American Board Chair Ryan Busse, Conservation Director John Gale, Communications Director Katie McKalip, State Policy & Field Operations Director Tim Brass and Director of Operations Frankie McBurney Olson.
Elk Talk Q&A with Randy Newberg and Corey Jacobsen
For 10-Time world champion elk caller Corey Jacobsen, there is nothing like the high-country in mid-September. Finishing in the top 5 in the professional division at the RMEF World Championship Elk Calling contest 18 times in the past 19 years, he has become one of the most sought-after resources for elk calling and elk hunting instruction in the nation. In 2013, Corey was named the RMEF's "Champion of Champions." Corey recognizes that success on the stage doesn't necessarily relate to success in the field, however, and he lives for the “real” contest that takes place in the elk woods every September. It is there, on public land, over-the-counter archery units that he has been hunting elk for over 30 years.
Corey's passion for elk hunting led him to create Elk101.com, a website devoted to elk hunting education, instruction and entertainment. Elk101.com offers a wealth of elk hunting information, along with interaction with other elk hunters, elk hunting videos, and gear. In addition to the standard content found on Elk101.com, Corey also created the University of Elk Hunting Online Course, a comprehensive resource for elk hunters of all experience levels, aimed at increasing their elk hunting success.
Randy Newberg has spent the last 11 years hosting his popular hunting TV shows, podcasts, and other digital media platforms, all focused on self-guided public land hunting in the Western United States. Randy currently distributes video content on YouTube channel Randy Newberg, Hunter and via Amazon Prime Video Direct on his channel, Leupold’s Fresh Tracks with Randy Newberg. Randy’s podcast, Hunt Talk Radio – Randy Newberg Unfiltered is a companion to his wildly (pun intended) popular web forum, HuntTalk.com. Randy is co-host of the Elk Talk Podcast with Corey Jacobsen, the premiere elk hunting podcast. Wild lands and wild animals are what drives Randy in his advocacy for hunters in America. His platforms are designed to show average hunters the remarkable experiences that are available for the price of a tag, the gas to get there and the effort invested. Whether it be bugling elk or speeding pronghorn, rifle or bow, Randy will travel the far corners of the West in search of food and adventure. Randy lives in Bozeman, Montana, with his wife, Kim, where he volunteers for many national and regional hunting-conservation groups, serving as a board member and fundraiser. When not hunting, Randy and Kim spend the summer traveling the high plains in search of Western walleyes.
Outdoor Recreation: Leaders and Innovators
Explore the foundations of the North American outdoor economy with directors of state outdoor recreation offices from across the country. They will provide background on the role of outdoor recreation offices, how their offices influence state policy. Tune in to hear how you can engage with your state office.
Rachel VandeVoort is the director of the Montana Office of Outdoor Recreation. A lifelong Montana girl, fisherman and hunter, Rachel has a degree in resource conservation, watershed management and fisheries from the University of Montana and has spent most of her career working in the outdoor recreation industry, previously as trade relations and marketing manager for Kimber Mfg. In 2017, Gov. Steve Bullock appointed Rachel to create and direct the Montana Governor’s Office of Outdoor Recreation. She lives, works and plays in Whitefish with her two sons.
Carolann Ouellette is the director of the Maine Office of Outdoor Recreation. In September, Carolann joined Maine’s Department of Economic & Community Development as the director of the Office of Outdoor Recreation. Most recently she was the executive director of Maine Huts & Trails, a nonprofit that operates a hut-to-hut system with four ecolodges and 80 miles of trails open to the public for hiking, biking, skiing and snowshoeing. Prior to that, Carolann was director of the Maine Office of Tourism. She is a former whitewater guide and manager for New England Outdoor Center and worked at Sugarloaf Resort. In 2015, she was named one of “50 Mainers Boldly Leading Our State” by Maine Magazine. She is a winter and water sports enthusiast working on her fishing and hunting skills and loves to travel.
Dave Glenn is the deputy administrator of Wyoming's state parks, historic sites and the newly-created Wyoming Outdoor Recreation Office. This includes the non-motorized and OHV/snowmobile trails program. Dave provides policy direction and helps prioritize the $28 million budget for the agency. With a commercial recreation degree from the University of Utah, Dave has worked in the outdoor recreation and outdoor education business for over 37 years. His work experience includes directing the University of Utah Outdoor program, managing a remote destination angling/hunting lodge in Alaska, and working for the National Outdoor Leadership School as a field instructor, NOLS Rocky Mountain director and NOLS professional training director. Dave also served as the Rocky Mountain regional director for the Sportsmen’s Conservation Project of Trout Unlimited. Dave also served as a BHA board member for a short time many years ago. Dave is a fanatical backcountry hunter and angler and lives with his very patient wife, two mules, two horses and a gun dog in Casper.
Cailin O'Brien-Feeney is the first director of Oregon’s Office of Outdoor Recreation. In that role, he works to elevate the personal, community and economic benefits of outdoor recreation for all Oregonians. A graduate of Lewis & Clark College and the University of Idaho, he previously developed the Outdoor Industry Association’s state and local advocacy program, was the policy director for Winter Wildlands Alliance, led trips for the National Outdoor Leadership School, guided on rivers around the West, and cleaned bathrooms for the Forest Service, among other jobs during a career that’s always been in the outdoors or for the outdoors.
Nathan Fey is a 6th generation Coloradan with a 20 year career in the nonprofit sector focusing on recreation policy and natural resource management. He has recently accepted the role of acting director of the Colorado Office of Outdoor Recreation Industry and now oversees the office's four priority initiatives: Economic Development, Conservation & Stewardship, Education and Workforce Training, and Public Health and Wellness. Prior to serving as acting director, Nathan served 12 years at American Whitewater as the Colorado and Southern Rockies stewardship director, where he oversaw the organization's conservation, access and public safety programs throughout the Four Corners region. Nathan has served on the advisory board of the Colorado Outdoor Recreation Industry Office since 2015 and consulted on the development of the office's governance structure and the 8-State Confluence Accords.
Public Access: Obstacles and Opportunities
Polls consistently show that hunters and anglers cite a lack of public access as the primary barrier to participation in our outdoor traditions. Join a panel of BHA partners who share a commitment to advancing policies and funding sources that help improve public access for hunting and fishing. Panelists will discuss a wide range of public access issues, from securing funding sources that fund the acquisition of new public lands to removing barriers to access of landlocked public lands and building up private land/public access lease programs.
Kristin Kovalik is the Oregon director of land protection for The Trust for Public Land. She was born and raised in rural Pennsylvania. She obtained a bachelor of science degree from Pennsylvania State University and a graduate degree from the University of Oregon. Kristin joined The Trust for Public Land in 1999 and has completed land protection projects in Oregon, Washington and Montana important for fish and wildlife habitat and public recreation access. Partners in these projects have ranged from federal, state and local agencies to tribes and nonprofits, including BHA. Kristin lives with her husband in Bend, Oregon, where she can be found swinging flies on her home water, the Deschutes River.
Joe Duggan is a consultant who recently retired as the vice president of corporate relations and marketing for Pheasants Forever, where he worked for more than 30 years and helped advance policies, programs and relationships with decision makers that have helped PF advance public access projects throughout the country. Joe lives in Minnesota and was instrumental in passing the Right to Hunt ballot measure and the Minnesota Legacy Amendment, which provided a dedicated sales tax which enhances public access in the state.
Randall Williams is the western engagement and communications manager for the Theodore Roosevelt Conservation Partnership. He holds a Ph.D. in history from the University of Montana and previously worked as an editor for Montana: The Magazine of Western History and the Montana Historical Society Press. An Ohio native, Randall lives in Missoula with his wife, Sydney, and their two Labrador retrievers, Arlo and Rose.
Sal Palazzolo is the private lands program manager for Idaho Fish & Game. Sal has worked for IDFG for nine years and oversees the private lands habitat, access and depredation programs as well as the mule deer initiative. Sal worked in Nebraska and Arizona before moving to Idaho. He enjoys whitetail deer hunting as well as chasing the wide variety of upland birds Idaho has to offer with his German shorthair.
Moderated by Tim Brass, BHA state policy and field operations director
Public Land Managers Speak Up
Join a discussion with seasoned public land managers from the U.S. Forest Service, U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service, Bureau of Land Management and Idaho Game & Fish to learn more about how to be an effective partner and advocate on public land management decisions.
Mark Penninger is a BHA life member and a U.S. Forest Service wildlife biologist for the Wallowa-Whitman National Forest. Mark has 30 years of experience as a professional wildlife biologist with the U.S. Forest Service. He is a certified professional wildlife biologist, former president of the Oregon chapter of The Wildlife Society, former national bighorn sheep biologist for the Forest Service from 2010-2017 and has served on the Blue Mountains Elk Initiative operations committee and Hells Canyon Bighorn Sheep Initiative committee for over 10 years. Mark is currently serving as director of the Bighorn Sheep and Mountain Goat Center of Excellence for Region 6 of the Forest Service and the forest wildlife biologist on the Wallowa-Whitman National Forest in northeastern Oregon (2010-present). In addition to hunting with traditional archery equipment, Mark also enjoys fly fishing, birding, backpacking, outdoor photography, waterfowl hunting and the restoration and collecting “edged” tools (knives, axes and hatchets).
Ted Koch grew up catching frogs in his backyard and riding his bike three miles in the dark to go fishing. He received his B.A. in biology from Southern Connecticut State University (1985) and M.S. in zoology from Idaho State University (1990). He worked for the Bureau of Land Management and National Park Service briefly before spending most of his 30-year federal career as an endangered species biologist with the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service. Ted was a staff biologist and program chief for the Idaho office, the state supervisor in Nevada, and the assistant regional director for endangered species in the Southwest region (AZ, NM, OK, TX). At times he served assignments as the acting majority staff director for the Fisheries, Wildlife and Water Subcommittee for the U.S. Senate Environment and Public Works Committee; staff to the assistant to the secretary of agriculture for the Headwaters Forest Project in California; and staff to the counselor for the assistant secretary of the interior. Ted retired at the end of 2018 and spent 80 of his first 180 days outdoors hunting, camping and visiting national parks.
Tim Murphy lives in Boise, Idaho, where he currently serves as an Idaho Game & Fish commissioner. Tim has dedicated his life to public service, working in a variety of capacities for the Bureau of Land Management and culminating with his most recent role as the Idaho BLM state director, where he retired in 2018. Tim has played a range of roles, from integrating rangeland and fire management with resource needs and uses among the customs and cultures of local communities and the nation to building economic viability into the management of landscapes. Of all this, Tim is most proud of his three adult children, from whom he’s learned a lot.
Moderated by Ace Hess, BHA High Divide coordinator and former BLM employee
Trout Spey/Single-Hand Spey Demonstration
Two-handed trout Spey rods and single-hand Spey casting techniques open doors for trout anglers who wish to fish difficult situations using large flies. Traditional single-hand rods are optimal for fine presentation, but when large flies and heavy winds are on the table, a trout Spey rod or a single-hand Spey line on your favorite stick is the only way to effortlessly deliver the goods. This interactive seminar will include the following:
- introduce trout Spey and single-hand Spey casting as it relates to trout fishing situations;
- present various casts for specific river situations;
- introduce the Skagit line and Skagit cast;
- present fly/leader combos for unique fishing demands.
Jeff Mishler has been chasing steelhead and trout with a fly rod for over 45 years. Since 1994, most of his effort has been focused on the use of two-handed rods. He has pursued salmon, trout and steelhead throughout the UK, South America, North America and Russia. His photography and writing have been published in The Drake, Fly Rod and Reel, Fly Fisherman Magazine and Gray's Sporting Journal, among other publications.
Recruitment, Retention, Reactivation (R3)
The panel serves as an introduction to the R3 movement in North America. The discussion will include an overview of chapter engagement on R3 issues across the continent. The goal of the panel is to give chapter leaders and members a better understanding of the state of the R3 movement, as well as an idea of how chapters and members can engage with R3 initiatives.
Brian Schaffer is an outdoor education project administrator for the North Dakota Game and Fish Department. He holds a B.S. in wildlife from Unity College in Maine and an M.S. in wildlife sciences from South Dakota State University. Early in his career, he left big game management to work for several organizations on hunting heritage and shooting sports programs. His current position focuses on evaluating North Dakota’s license trends and how best to address the needs surrounding the recruitment, retention and reactivation of hunters, anglers and trappers. He will always be a proud Pennsylvanian, but the vast public lands and abundant hunting and fishing opportunities of the West forced him to call the prairie home. He currently resides in Bismarck, North Dakota, with his yellow Labrador, Patton.
Samantha Pedder is the director of business development for the Council to Advance Hunting and Shooting Sports. Previously, she served as the manager of outreach and diversity for the National Shooting Sports Foundation and the hunting outreach specialist for the Pennsylvania Game Commission. Samantha has spent her career focusing on improving contemporary R3 practices through each of these organizations. Samantha holds a bachelor's of science degree from Penn State University, a master's of natural resources from Utah State University and recently completed a master's of business administration from Georgia Southern University. She spends most of her time outdoors hunting, fishing, and hiking and taking new people with her.
Introducing Adults to Hunting – The First Steps
Mark Norquist shares insights on how Modern Carnivore reaches out to what he calls “not-yet-hunters.” Mark will walk attendees through what to expect as adults head down a path towards becoming a new hunter. He’ll also share parts of the film Awaken the Hunter Within, which follows Becca, Pierce and Alex, three adults just starting their hunting journey.
Mark Norquist is a board member of the Minnesota chapter of BHA, recipient of the 2016 BHA Sigurd F. Olson Award and the founder of Modern Carnivore. He leverages a career in motivational marketing and the universal appeal of great food to introduce adults to the adventures of hunting, fishing and foraging. Mark lives in Minnetonka, Minnesota, with his wife and two children and considers himself a certified generalist in many outdoor and conservation-related pursuits.
Whether you routinely travel into the wilderness or are more accustomed to staying in your backyard, this presentation will hone existing skills and teach new survival techniques. Get the chance to learn directly from Global Rescue’s experienced survival professionals, who will give hands-on training for surviving when the unexpected happens.
Scott Hume is the vice president of operations at Global Rescue. He spent over 20 years in the U.S. Army as an infantry officer, where he achieved the rank of lieutenant colonel. His notable assignments include the 2nd Armored Division, 7th Infantry Division, 75th Ranger Regiment, 25th Infantry Division and the National Airborne Operations Center. During his military career, he spent time in the Middle East, Balkans, Central America and Asia. He studied at Norwich University, the U.S. Army School of Advanced Military Studies and the University of New Hampshire.
Justin Walker is the associate manager of hunting and fishing at Global Rescue, where he handles sales and account management. Previously, he was the director of sales and marketing at AVID Hunting & Outdoors. He specializes in wilderness survival practices. A co-chair of the board of the Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation, Justin is an avid hunter, fisherman and conservationist.
Salmon/Steelhead Recovery Panel
Ensuring the recovery of salmon and steelhead is an issue in which we all have a stake as public lands sportsmen and women. At the urging of our members, BHA is actively exploring ways to meaningfully engage on the subject while informing and educating the public to the many social and ecological problems that face anadromous species. While there is not a singular issue that can immediately be remedied, facilitating a conversation with experts will identify the problems, create discussions for further action and lead BHA’s future policy decisions.
Josh Mills is a die-hard steelhead angler who lives in Spokane, Washington, with his two sons and wife Kallie. Aside of working in the advertising industry, he's proud to serve on the board of directors for the Wild Steelhead Coalition, volunteer for Save Our Wild Salmon as well as Backcountry Hunters & Anglers. You can usually find him hunched over his tying vice, creating new steelhead offerings and dreaming of the next tight line grab.
Steven Hawley is an environmental journalist, was among the first to write about the historic agreement to tear out Edwards Dam on the Kennebec River in Maine. Since then, his work has appeared in High Country News, Bear Deluxe, National Fisherman, OnEarth, Arizona Quarterly, the Oregonian, and Missoula Independent. He lives with his family along the Columbia River.
Dylan Tomine is a Patagonia fly fishing ambassador, the author of Closer To The Ground: An Outdoor Family's Year on the Water, in the Woods and at the Table, and a producer of the film Artifishal. He lives, fishes, forages and works in Washington state.
Ed Schriever is director of the Idaho Department of Fish and Game. Ed’s career with IDFG started in 1980 when he worked as a temporary employee trapping Bear Lake Cutthroat from St. Charles Creek. Ed spent his first six years at IDFG working at a variety of Idaho fish hatcheries including managing the startup of Cabinet Gorge kokanee hatchery, Idaho’s first 100 percent pumped water facility. Ed transferred to fisheries management in 1989 where he was the regional fisheries biologist in the Clearwater region working with wild trout, mountain lakes, salmon, steelhead, sturgeon, bass and kokanee. Ed became the regional fisheries manager for the Clearwater region in 2001 and was front and center in working the public and communities in developing fisheries frameworks for the resurgence of spring Chinook fisheries in the Clearwater, Snake and Salmon rivers. Ed moved to IDFG headquarters in 2008 to lead the state fishery program, overseeing management, research, hatcheries, habitat, fish health and genetics. In his capacity as chief of fisheries, Ed also represented Idaho in the US vs. OR forum during the renegotiation of the Columbia River fisheries management agreement. Ed served as deputy director, overseeing field operations from 2015 until he was appointed director in January of 2019. His career passion has been managing the sustainable interaction Idaho hunters, trappers and anglers enjoy with their wildlife.
Moderated by Rob Parkins, BHA public water access coordinator
Venomous Snakes in the Backcountry: Biology to Bite Prevention and Treatment
Many of the wild places that we go to recreate are also some of the best remaining habitats for venomous snakes, such as rattlesnakes. Every year, multiple hunters and anglers encounter venomous snakes in the wild. It is important that we are equipped with the knowledge to prevent a snake encounter from becoming an emergency. If an encounter does become an emergency, we should all know how to best survive that situation. This seminar will cover the general ecology of venomous snakes with an eye toward understanding their biology to help keep you safe in the backcountry. The seminar will also include techniques for preventing and treating snake bites, other topics such as dogs and snake bite and appropriate snake safety gear. There will also be a live Great Basin rattlesnake so that everyone can experience one of these amazing animals up close.
Dr. Chris Jenkins is the founder, director, and chief executive officer of The Orianne Society. He also chairs the International Union for the Conservation of Nature’s Viper Specialist Group and has served in advisory and leadership roles in Partners for Reptiles and Amphibian Conservation and Gopher Tortoise Council. Since its founding, the Orianne Society has worked on conservation projects for reptiles and amphibians across North America. Specifically, Orianne has protected and restored a great deal of habitat, much of which is now public land that can be accessed by anyone to hunt and fish. Chris is a sportsman and hunts extensively across the Southeast, Northeast and West. His interest in conservation, hunting and wilderness brought him to serve on the board of the Southeast chapter of Backcountry Hunters & Anglers. Chris’ expertise is in the ecology and conservation of rattlesnakes, and he travels across the country giving seminars on rattlesnake ecology, snakebite prevention and treatment of snakebite in the field. He gives these seminars to a wide range of groups including sportsmen's groups, agency staff and Boy Scout troops. Before founding the Orianne Society, Dr. Jenkins worked with the Wildlife Conservation Society to conserve rare wildlife species in the Greater Yellowstone Ecosystem. He also has worked with the U.S. Forest Service, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, University of Massachusetts, University of British Columbia and National Geographic. Chris received a B.S. and M.S. from the University of Massachusetts in wildlife biology and wildlife conservation, respectively. There, he focused on the ecology and conservation of rare salamanders. He received his Ph.D. in biological sciences from Idaho State University, where he studied the impacts of grazing and changing fire regimes on Great Basin rattlesnakes.
Chronic Wasting Disease and Public Lands
Our fish and wildlife management agencies have identified the spread of CWD as a serious threat to hunting participation and the long-term health of cervid populations throughout North America. Join chapter leaders and professional biologists for a discussion on CWD research, management planning and chapter engagement on management actions aimed at limiting the spread of CWD.
TJ Hauge is the chair of the Wisconsin chapter of Backcountry Hunters & Anglers. He has hunted in a CWD-affected area since 2002, when the disease was discovered in Wisconsin. From regularly testing every deer taken to changing butchering practices, CWD has caused a change in every aspect of his family’s fall routine. Additionally, TJ has had a front-row seat in witnessing how “deer politics” have resulted in hunters and politicians willfully ignoring sound management and science for personal short-term benefit. TJ currently lives in the Stevens Point area, where he works as a paramedic and lives with his wonderfully understanding girlfriend and their dog.
As a Pennsylvania chapter leader, Don Rank is an adult-onset hunter who has been focused on helping lead chapter engagement on legislation and policies affecting hunters and anglers and having their voices heard in the capital. Don has hunted and fished since he was a kid, mostly on the Pennsylvania state game lands near his old family cabin. Don’s father and grandfather both hunted grouse and pheasant, but he did not start hunting until his 30s, at the behest of his friend. Don went on to pick up archery deer hunting when he turned 40, which is now his true passion.
Toby Boudreau earned a bachelor’s degree in wildlife management and a master’s degree in wildlife biology from the University of Alaska, where he focused his research on grizzly bears in the Alaska Range. He worked for the Alaska Department of Fish and Game from 1991 through 2005 as an area management biologist in several locations, primarily working on brown and black bears, moose, caribou and wolves. In July 2005, he accepted a job with the Idaho Department of Fish and Game as the statewide mule deer initiative coordinator. After that, he was a regional wildlife manager, statewide deer and elk coordinator, regional supervisor in Jerome, and assistant chief of wildlife. In February, he accepted the Wildlife Bureau chief position. Toby assumed the leadership role in the development of the 2018 Chronic Wasting Disease Strategy for the department, helped develop the recent CWD legislative rule changes and supervises the IDFG Wildlife Health Lab.
Moderated by Chris Hennessey, BHA Eastern regional manager
BHA Coffee Talk
- Katie McKalip: Building the BHA Narrative
- Rob Yagid: Expanding and Improving Outreach and Stories via Social Media
- Bill Hanlon: Canada’s Public Lands and Conservation Issues
- Trey Curtiss: R3: Building the Next Generation of Hunters
- Heather Kelly: Backcountry Nutrition
- Chris Hennessey: Eastern BHA Chapters: What’s the Same, What’s Different and What’s Next
- Julia Peebles: Working Both Sides of the Aisle
- Ted Koch: Effective Communication with Public Land Managers
- Eric Crawford and Katie Olrich: Migration, Landowner Relations, and Other Idaho Issues
- Walker Conyngham: Targeting Decision Makers through Traditional Media
Off the Hook: Q&A with Tim Brass, John Gale and Julia Peebles
This is your chance to ask questions related to BHA’s policy priorities, the ins and outs of Congress and the administration, or state policy initiatives. Join our policy team in an open dialogue on important issues that impact our wild public lands, waters and wildlife.
Tim Brass grew up hunting and fishing in Minnesota with his family and friends. He followed his passion for the outdoors to earn a B.S. in natural resource management from the University of Wisconsin, Stevens Point, and an M.A. in community and regional planning from the University of Oregon. Prior to joining BHA, Tim did research work for the Forest Service, National Science Foundation and Cooperative North American Shotgunning Education Program. Now living in Colorado with his wife Megan and daughter Linden, Tim enjoys hunting waterfowl hunting, big game hunting with a bow and fly fishing high mountain lakes. He’s glad to be a part of an organization that stands up for the wild public lands he enjoys the most. Tim’s role at BHA is to help chapters spearhead campaigns at the state and local level aimed at conserving intact fish and wildlife habitat, ensuring public access and opportunity and defending our fair chase hunting traditions.
John Gale is a fifth-generation Idahoan who grew up hunting and fishing the backcountry with his family. Engaged in politics at a young age, John finished high school early to take his first job with the Idaho State Senate. Later on, while feeding an outdoors addiction as a whitewater river guide and ranger, John received his degree in natural resource management from the University of Idaho. After a two-year stint in Morocco with the Peace Corps managing biodiversity and water projects, John found a niche for his ecumenical angling habits in Washington, D.C., directing a variety of grassroots conservation programs for Trout Unlimited. Eventually he succumbed to the calls of Western topography and returned to the high country, directing sportsmen campaigns and public lands policy for nine years with the National Wildlife Federation. As BHA’s conservation director, John is committed to defending our wild public lands, waters and wildlife for future generations. In his personal time, John enjoys the outdoors with his wife and daughter and prefers the solitude of lonely backcountry mountains where the elk bugle and cold streams run with wild trout.
Julia Peebles was born in Indiana where her family taught her to hunt upland birds and fish in local rivers. Her love for the outdoors continued to grow during her undergraduate years at Sewanee: The University of the South, a college campus that offers more than 13,000 acres on the Cumberland Plateau in Tennessee. Within a few months of graduating from Sewanee, Julia’s passion for political science led her to Washington, D.C., where she worked for Sen. Dan Coats of Indiana. Less than two years later, she found her calling when she joined the Theodore Roosevelt Conservation Partnership as government relations representative. As a sportswoman, her hobbies intertwined perfectly with her career at TRCP working on federal sportsmen policy. While the Capital Beltway politics are frustrating at times, Julia makes a point to sneak away from it all to go hunting for whitetails, red snapper fishing in the Gulf or enjoy other outdoor activities. Doing so keeps her energized and committed to fighting for sportsmen on Capitol Hill.
Recovering America's Wildlife
Our nation’s fish and wildlife are among the most valuable resources that support our clean water, healthy forests and many other aspects of its public lands and waters. However, without sustained and dedicated funding for wildlife conservation, fewer people will benefit from the opportunities that fish and wildlife bring to our hunting and fishing heritage and our annual $887 billion outdoor recreation economy. Learn the ins and outs of the Recovering America’s Wildlife Act and how this bipartisan bill could provide on-the-ground proactive conservation efforts and protect at-risk species from endangerment.
Virgil Moore was recently the director of Idaho Fish and Game. He retired in February 2019 with eight years as director and over 42 years of service with Idaho Fish and Game. Virgil was also the director of the Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife from 2006-2007 before returning to Idaho in 2007. Virgil started with Idaho Fish and Game in 1977 as a fisheries research biologist and has served in various leadership positions in Idaho including state fisheries manager, fisheries research manager, chief of fisheries and chief of information and education. Virgil is also a past president of the Association of Fish & Wildlife Agencies and has worked constantly at a national level for the introduction and passage of Restoring America’s Wildlife Act since 2016. He has served on the Western Association of Fish and Wildlife Agencies executive committee, WAFWA’s sage grouse/sagebrush executive oversight committee and WAFWA’s bird conservation committee. He has represented Idaho on the Western Governors Association sage grouse task force with Idaho’s office of species conservation and is a past co-chair of Idaho Gov. Otter’s sage grouse task force. Virgil had been actively involved in native species management, ESA and states sovereignty issues related to wildlife management by the states. Virgil received a B.S. in biology and education from Northwest Missouri State University and a M.S. in zoology from Idaho State University. Virgil, his wife Becky, their two daughters, five grandchildren and one great-grandson all enjoy Idaho outdoor activities together on a regular basis, including whitewater boating, fishing, hunting, skiing and photography.
Kids in the Wild: Introducing Children to the Outdoors
Curious about getting your kids off the couch and into the woods? Apprehensive that their first time fishing will end in disaster? Listen and learn from three parents experienced in the art of getting children excited about spending time in the outdoors chasing fish and wildlife. This seminar will cover techniques for ensuring that your child's formative experiences in the woods lead to a lifetime of enjoyment and appreciation for everything North America's public lands have to offer.
Aliah Knopff is passionate about exploring the amazing opportunities that North America’s backcountry affords. From canoe trips with her kids to sneaking away for a sheep hunt with her husband, she is happiest sleeping in a tent and waking up to a day of adventure. Aliah’s keen interest in wilderness and conservation led her to pursue joint undergraduate degrees in environmental science and international relations followed by a M.Sc. in ecology from the University of Alberta, where she studied cougar-human interactions in west-central Alberta. Over the past six years, Aliah’s work as an environmental consultant has allowed her to continue to study Alberta’s large mammals, including projects focused on mountain goats, bighorn sheep, cougars and bears. As the Western Canada coordinator for BHA, Aliah is excited to focus her work on the conservation of fish and wildlife habitat and the opportunity for adventure on Alberta’s public lands.
T. Edward Nickens has reported on conservation, the outdoors and rural culture for some of the world's most respected publications for over three decades. He is an editor at large for Field & Stream and a contributing editor for Audubon magazine. His work has appeared in Smithsonian, National Geographic Adventure, Men's Journal, Garden & Gun, Shooting Sportsman, Sporting Classics and many other titles. His two books for Field & Stream have sold more than 250,000 copies. His works have been collected in a half-dozen "best of" anthologies and won numerous awards. In addition, Nickens has served as host, writer and field producer for Field & Stream's television shows The Gun Nuts and The Total Outdoorsman Challenge as well as the award-winning Heroes of Conservation webisode series. He has consulted as a speaker, speechwriter, white-paper author and communications specialist for a range of conservation organizations. Nickens lives in Raleigh and Morehead City, North Carolina.
Samantha Flowers is a volunteer naturalist in the Patuxent Corridor of the Chesapeake Bay, a developing herbalist and a bowhunter and outdoorswoman. When she is not indulging in outdoor pursuits, Samantha is homeschooling her three adventurous children or working on her family farm. She is happily married to her own Idaho mountain man, who provides meat for the table both literally and metaphorically through his career as an active duty Naval Aviator and an avid bowhunter. While hunting and fishing have been infused into Samantha's DNA through her upbringing in rural Oklahoma, she learned the beauty of the public lands chase when she met her husband. They have since furthered their passion for food, fishingnand hunting by becoming dependent on wild game to sustain their family. When she discovered Backcountry Hunters & Anglers, Samantha immediately identified with the mission and cause behind the organization and wanted to get her hands dirty and help out any way she could.
Bryan Huskey is a photographer, filmmaker and jolly storyteller turned work-from-home dad. His young family calls Boise, Idaho home and makes the most of the public lands, waters and critters of the region. Bryan is also the founder and co-executive director of Keepemwet Fishing. His storytelling podcast is called Skylines. His spirit animal is a goat.
Moderated by Rachel VandeVoort, director of the Montana Office of Outdoor Recreation
Outdoor Photography with Dirt Myth/Garret Smith
Do in life what is important, challenging and rewarding for you, and, most importantly, make damn sure you do it well. The development of one’s craft requires intention at every decision and an awareness every day. As your photography and cinematography develop, take advantage of what you are learning and apply it to the story you capture. Understanding and owning the responsibility you have as a visual storyteller will keep you enthusiastic and inspired; we are often not creators but curators of amazing moments in time, so be prepared. These rules and tools of the trade come straight from the mind of Garret Smith, an accomplished outdoor photographer and photojournalist. This seminar will cover what it takes to get a film or photography job, capture the story without taking away from the experience or manipulating the reality, developing a style as your tools become extensions of your perspective and staying enthusiastic and inspired.
Garret Smith, also known as Dirt Myth, is a professional outdoor photographer and videographer.
Tips from the Field
MeatEater’s Ryan Callaghan will provide tips, tactics and anecdotes to set first-time hunters up for success.
Ryan Callaghan is the conservation director for MeatEater. Ryan has been a passionate member of the outdoor community, growing up guiding hunting and fishing and playing in the West.
Access for the Traveling Angler
Learn about the tools and resources needed to understand the laws when traveling.
Rob Thornberry, who joined the Theodore Roosevelt Conservation Partnership in 2016 as the Idaho field representative, has spent his life chasing animals and fish across the West’s stunning public lands. A journalism graduate from the University of Colorado, Rob reported on outdoor issues for nearly three decades and wrote a weekly outdoor column for The Post Register in Idaho. Public lands have been his playground since he first started chasing sage grouse across the rolling hills of northwestern Colorado. When not working to ensure sportsmen’s access to public lands, Rob can be found swinging a steelhead fly, busting through rapids, or hunting for elk in his beloved eastern Idaho. He and his wife Margaret are proud parents of two grown children.
Garrison Doctor is the co-founder and designer for RepYourWater Apparel. He has been a passionate fly fisher since he begged his dad for his first fly rod on his 10th birthday. He has been exploring the West with a fly rod in hand ever since.
Michael White is a long-tenured and respected industry sales representative, having worked for many companies within fishing and hunting over the course of his career. Currently, he represents the hunting brand Sitka Gear in the Northern Rockies territory of Montana, Idaho and Wyoming. Michael has over 20 years of experience as an independent sales representative, with 13 of those years spent in the Southern Rockies territory of Colorado, New Mexico and Utah. This makes him one of the few independent sales representatives with cross-territorial experience. Michael focuses his efforts to closely work with each retailer to develop a plan to enhance their assortment, in-store education, merchandising, problem-solving and simply grow their business. Michael is a great listener, communicator and dedicated to being the best partner to independent retailers in his territory. Michael is actively involved in many conservation organizations and formerly served on the AFFTA board of directors, including as the chairman. He has consistently volunteered his time and effort to address the myriad issues facing anglers and hunters nationwide. In his spare time, he enjoys fly fishing, improving his archery skills and chasing upland birds, along with a number of other outdoor activities he shares with his family. He has traveled extensively throughout the U.S., Canada and the world pursuing these activities and spent many days afield, where fishing and hunting access issues are always top of mind. Michael is based in Bozeman, Montana.
Anthony Licata is the newly appointed Editor-in-Chief of MeatEater Inc. Previously he served as the long-time Editorial Director of Field & Stream and Outdoor Life. Licata was raised in rural Pennsylvania but has fished and hunted public waters and lands all over North America. This summer, he will be moving to Bozeman, Montana, where he and his family plan to spend as much time as possible learning the local rivers.
Moderated by Rob Parkins, BHA public water access coordinator
Adapting Traditional Recipes to Wild Game
Can't figure out how to cook the mountain lion, jackrabbit or whatever unusual game you were lucky enough to bag this season? If you find yourself with a freezer full of unfamiliar animals and lack specific recipes for them, this seminar is for you. Danielle will explain the various factors that make cooking with wild game different than cooking domestic meat so that you will know how to adjust classic recipes accordingly. You’ll also learn her favorite tricks to making wild game taste better and feel confident enough to interchange wild game with your favorite traditional recipes.
Danielle Prewett is the founder of Wild + Whole and a wild foods contributor for MeatEater. Texas is home for Danielle, but her love for the outdoors developed while chasing birds across the grasslands of North Dakota. She has been living off the land for the last several years and is fascinated by the richness of wild game. Danielle strives to portray this beauty by teaching others how to cook and enjoy their harvest.
Randy Newberg Rain Deer Film and Q&A
The Rain Deer film is subtitled “A story of Sitka Blacktail Conservation.” The film explores the conservation issues through the work of Dr. Sofie Gilbert and her use of hunting and hunters to understand more about the deer she studies.
Randy Newberg has spent the last 11 years hosting his popular hunting TV shows, podcasts, and other digital media platforms, all focused on self-guided public land hunting in the western United States. Randy currently distributes video content on YouTube channel Randy Newberg, Hunter and via Amazon Prime Video Direct on his channel, Leupold’s Fresh Tracks with Randy Newberg. Randy’s podcast, Hunt Talk Radio – Randy Newberg Unfiltered is a companion to his wildly (pun intended) popular web forum, HuntTalk.com. Randy is co-host of the Elk Talk Podcast with Corey Jacobsen, the premiere elk hunting podcast. Wild lands and wild animals are what drives Randy in his advocacy for hunters in America. His platforms are designed to show average hunters the remarkable experiences that are available for the price of a tag, the gas to get there and the effort invested. Whether it be bugling elk or speeding pronghorn, rifle or bow, Randy will travel the far corners of the west in search of food and adventure. Randy lives in Bozeman, Montana, with his wife, Kim, where he volunteers for many national and regional hunting-conservation groups, serving as a board member and fundraiser. When not hunting, Randy and Kim spend the summer traveling the high plains in search of Western walleyes.
Drift Boat/Raft Rigging with Hilary Hutcheson
Fly fishing guide Hilary Hutcheson demystifies boat rigging for river lovers of all abilities. From the ins and outs of trailers, straps, gear storage and efficiency at the ramp, learn how to get your raft or drift boat dialed for optimal days on the water. Whether it’s a day trip or week-long excursion, become more effective in planning, packing and executing. Beginners will learn pro tips for headache-free fishing, and experienced boaters will pick up new ideas and share best practices. This class is also great for non-boat-owners who are looking for a greater understanding of the float fishing culture.
Hilary Hutcheson owns and runs Lary’s Fly and Supply in Columbia Falls, Montana, and guides on the Flathead River and Middle Fork of the Salmon River. Hutcheson started her fly fishing career as a teenage guide in West Glacier, Montana. Later, she took her journalism degree to Portland, Oregon, and worked as a television news anchor and reporter before returning to Montana to co-own and operate Outside Media and Trout TV for nearly a decade. She loves hanging out with her two teen daughters, especially when they volunteer on the oars.
Beau Baty: Why Pack Llamas?
If you have seen llamas on hunting shows, Instagram or Facebook and still the only thing you know about llamas is that they can spit, then this seminar is for you.
Llamas have grown in popularity for backcountry use over the last 10 years. Why, you ask? Well, they are easy to handle and safe to be around. They carry a heavy payload and eat and drink very similar to a deer. It is no wonder that llamas have been used in South America as a beast of burden for over 4000 years. With that time frame in mind, pack llamas as pack animals in North America is relatively a new idea. It wasn’t until late in the 20th century that llamas were imported from South America to North America.
Working llamas are truly magnificent animals. With their easy to please diet, sure-footedness, calm disposition and willingness to work, the backcountry is becoming more accessible. They have become more than just a pack animal to us.
Beau Baty grew up in northern Utah on a cattle ranch and farm in the steepest mountain range in North America. The Wellsville Mountain Range was a remarkable and rugged place to grow up. He was fortunate enough to grow up working with his great grandfather, grandfather and father on the family ranch. Hunting, fishing and the outdoors was always more than a hobby or interest for these three generations. It was a major part of their survival, especially for Beau’s great grandfather Daniel Baty, a federal trapper, and Beau’s grandfather, who grew up in during the Great Depression. All three of these Western outdoorsmen who Beau calls family taught him how to work, hunt, fish and conserve the natural resources available to us all.
Dog Training: Foundations with Ron Boehme
Training dogs is an art form that many hunters never entirely grasp. This seminar will focus on a tried and true method for teaching obedience to young dogs: the use of a training table. This table becomes the schoolhouse for your dog throughout its entire life. Acclaimed dog trainer Ron Boehme will cover introducing pups to the table, beginning obedience drills, force fetching, teaching steadiness and the all-important Whoa command. The seminar will conclude with a discussion about transferring table work to the yard and field.
Ron Boehme has been training, hunting, testing and breeding dogs over 30 years. He is currently a senior judge for the North American Versatile Hunting Dog Association (NAVHDA). With a total of 22 years of judging experience, Boehme has a wealth of knowledge on hunting dogs. Since 2015, he has hosted the Hunting Dog Podcast, which is the highest rated podcast in its genre on iTunes.
BHA Podcast & Blast Live with Hal Herring and Eduardo Garcia
An award-winning journalist and contributing editor at Field & Stream, Hal Herring has written for a wide range of publications including The Atlantic, The Economist and Bugle. He’s a lifelong outdoorsman, mountaineer, hunter and fisherman whose fans have come to expect deeply reported, thought-provoking stories and essays. Born and raised in north Alabama, Hal lives in Augusta, Montana.
Eduardo Garcia is a lover of nature and passionate outdoorsman who works as a chef, entrepreneur and public speaker. Eduardo calls Paradise Valley, Montana his home. He has traveled extensively, and his adventures at home or abroad always revolve around anything and everything to do with food, the outdoors and an active, healthy lifestyle.
As a founder and Chef of the national food brand, Montana Mex, Eduardo works alongside a passionate team to bring clean label condiments to hungry consumers across the country. Eduardo’s love of wide-open spaces and his belief in the inherent value of the outdoors are common values among his fellow partners. Together, as a business, they support organizations like BHA and deliberately work to highlight the importance of the great outdoors in their marketing.
A Conversation on Hunting and Fishing Ethics
Join MeatEater's Ben O'Brien as he leads a discussion on some of the toughest ethical quandaries in hunting and fishing. Topics will include catch and release, wound rates for archery hunters, baiting, modern fair chase principles and more. Bring your questions and real-life scenarios to discuss with O'Brien and guest panelists from the MeatEater editorial staff.
Ben O’Brien is the editorial director for MeatEater, Inc., and the host of The Hunting Collective podcast. He is formerly the hunting marketing manager at YETI. Currently a resident of Bozeman, Montana, he grew up on the East Coast. Prior to joining YETI, he was managing editor at Petersen’s Hunting and digital editor at the National Rifle Association’s American Hunter magazine. He has been published in various outdoor publications and continues his writing career today for MeatEater.